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Merry Moodmas. Wednesday December 23, 2015

Hello. I just thought I'd mention that I think you're doing OK. And that is good enough!

This time of year is in a league of its own. The good parts of life feel lit by fairy-light glow and we might beam. This year my children didn't bicker about whose turn it was to go first opening the advent calendar. They didn't even bicker about being the one to fill the drawers (and cram runaway sweets into the mouth pocket in the process). It is going OK! Good enough for me! But the bad parts of life can feel enlarged by a magnifying glass because we have to suffer these parts whilst feeling that the rest of the world is living inside a sentimental advert.

Christmas has brought me some crises over the years both serious and funny. It has become easier for me as my years with depression have grown. I've grown inside. In a Christmas past, I held the hand of my gravely ill daughter, making deals in my heart, and praying for her hand to stay warm. Another Christmas I held the soft and floppy hand of an old beauty knowing it would not.

Key to tip-toeing through the days of this season and all that it brings us, is to find some element of beauty in every challenge. For me, the horror of hosting is balanced out by the poignant sight of three little wooden, painted ornaments that my daughter sprinkled glitter onto the first day she made it out of the hospital bed. The craft room will never know the ongoing importance of that ten minute visit. Ten years have passed but those ornaments are as precious to me as having her well. They hold a silent nod that strikes fear within me to remember that time, but also tell me that, wherever I am in my personal journey, it is good enough. Being better than that doesn't matter. Neither does perfection. Neither do gifts. Neither does being right, being wrong, being late or being the bearer of an empty gravy jug. It's good enough that I nearly ordered a turkey in time...

Know that you are doing and being all that you can in this moment. Free yourself from guilt and from wishing. Just be. Night will follow day, day will follow night, Christmas and its good and bad parts will pass. You will remain. Hold onto yourself, applaud who you are, your facets are unique and you are good enough. I wish you a Merry Moodmas.

Love from

The room above the garage.
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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patricia Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 6:08am

You are so good at writing your blog, you've obviously been through a lot. I've just finished seeing someone privately and feel good my father died 50 years ago on 30/12/65 and I've never viewed Christmas as a very happy time. This is the first year I am actually looking forward to it!! my therepist said nothing has changed you have changed your thinking wow! the light switched on. I'm not allowed to say but, "but" that voice is saying "but" it never lasts with you does it. you'll go down again. She said tell that naughty little on your shoulder, she is no longer in control "I AM" so go away.
Also I picked up a brand new book at a coffee morning some weeks ago (someone had discarded it?) Suddenly one night, 2 weeks ago took it to bed and started reading it, just little bits, what with therepy and the book I've found inspiration, you most likely all know it The Power by Rhonda Brynne. Anyone who doesn't suffer like we do will most likely think "what planet are we on" but little things have happened to me lately which my children would call "spooky mum"
So push back the bedcovers, have good thoughts, give thanks you're still here, life is worth living it's not all bad even if it seems that way sometimes, there is more good than bad. As Churchill said near the end of his life "I've had a lot of trouble, most of which I had never happened"
Your Christmas will be special to you this year.

the room above the garage Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 1:21pm

Patricia, what a great response, I feel tingly thinking that you have had that little light up moment. And now that you have, you will never go back. You might still have moments of ups and downs but you will never go back to where you were. That change is permanent. You have moved your base line and that is fabulous! I love coincidences...the book was lost or discarded for a reason!

Isabella Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 6:44am

I love the notion that everyone else is living inside a sentimental's not my best time of year and this year my husband has to start chemo in Jan for cancer. I try to carry on as 'normal' but I know I'm on automatic pilot. I try very hard to count all my blessings, which are many, try to follow all the advice, but I still resent the 'mum' role I have that has to put Christmas together...I understand why people run away...
But thank you for your blog, the last paragraph in particular - I think I might copy it out and read it everyday to remind me not to disappear.
Merry Moodmas to everyone!

the room above the garage Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 1:25pm

Isabella (such a beautiful name!), I'm sad to hear that you and your husband have this to trudge through. I hope you feel you can lean on us in here. Maybe you might consider writing us through your experience? It can tremendously cathartic for the writer, insightful for the reader and a beacon for others trudging the same path. Will be holding you both in my thoughts x.

Caroline Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 6:52am

Incredibly eloquent! Really touched me, you have a real gift x

the room above the garage Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 1:25pm

And with this you have touched me and made me smile broadly :-) love ratg x.

Paul Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 7:47am

Excellent blog RATG
I lost my dad 45 years ago when I was 14 on the 16 the of December. Mum remmaried 3 years later stepfather died about 15 years later on the 21st of December. Then my gran died on Christmas Day. I'm sure this does not help. You would think after many years it would not bother me. But I still get really low every year around this time. I find it awful trying to be happy when inside Its feel awful but like you said and I know it will pass. Happy christmood everyone lets hope 2016 is a good year. Sorry if my post has lowered any ones mood. So I will finish with a joke, hum our always helps me.

I was approached by a pretty big busted lady yesterday when I was leaving a supermarket.
She asked me for a lift. While I was putting my seat belt on she climbed on top of me and bared her chest. At this point her friend jumped in the car and stole my wallet. It was awful.
This happened to me last Sunday again on Monday twice on Tuesday and probably again tomorrow.


Mary Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 9:10am

Paul - you forgot to give the address of the supermarket so that all other vulnerable gentlemen can be aware!

the room above the garage Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 1:33pm

Paul, I'm laughing at you and at Marydoll! Brilliant!! Please never feel that your words might bring anyone down. (I might write about this as you have switched on a little light bulb for me.) Sharing and writing and talking about your low does not bring me down. It gives to me instead. Your sorrow is better out than in. And far from pull me down, it makes me feel close to people. That you trust us, that you understand us and that we might understand you. Its a poignant time of year and there is a place for remembering and being sad. Its allowed and its healthy!!!! I'll be thinking about you over these next few days. Just as I think of the man in the corner shop when I'd just attended a funeral on this day a couple of years ago...he shared with me that his mum had died one Christmas Eve. There IS beauty to be found in every situation even if that is a shared feeling of loss. It is shared. And in there is kinship.

Paul Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 8:16pm

Thanks for your kind words RATG. You have a great way of expressing yourself in words. Best wishes Paul

Paul Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 8:17pm

Thanks Mary best keep it a secret ha ha. Best wishes Paul

Mary Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 9:09am

Hey RATG! Tears in my eyes here. I feel swamped, overwhelmed and emotional. But - I have all my family around me. We are all healthy and happy. I have so much, so very very much to be grateful for. And I am - oh yes, I am. You remind me that even when the house is not Ideal Home perfect, when meals arrive later than advertised and intended, when we have a few disagreements and squabbles these are all minor. Life is good. Life is very good.

the room above the garage Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 1:35pm

Ah Marydoll, you are lifting out of where you were and you have the grateful glow around you. I am happy about that! xx

Amanda Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 9:09am

Thank you. So poignant it brought a lump to my throat. The last paragraph is one I will take with me over the next week as I go to visit my sisters and parents. Mum has just come out of hospital after a 5 month stay, and now we have a voyage of discovery as her dementia progresses. Thankfully she still knows who we all are, most of the time. It's probably the last Christmas she will be able to celebrate, so we are making the most of it while we can.

the room above the garage Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 1:38pm

Ah Amanda, dementia visiting this family too and I think we are at a similar stage to your mum. Its sad when it frightens them and I hope your Christmas is happy. The way you write shows me how much she is surrounded by love and that really is all we need xx.

Soulmansblue Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 9:51am

Hi Roomie,

Great Blog, really sentimental for this time of year. I lost the love of Christmas at the tender age of five. alas the sighn of things to come.

i was asked to post a link to my pictures related to my blog in November 'Why You're Afraid of Me!' so if anyone is still interested here is the link [just copy and paste it into your browser:

All the best for Christmas


Mary Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 10:36am

Beautiful pictures. I worked for the NHS back in the 80s when many of these hospitals were being closed to be replaced by "care in the community" (ha ha). I had to do the admin for closing De La Pole hospital in East Yorkshire. It was a beautiful building in lovely grounds. I still believe it was the wrong thing to do.

Amanda Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 10:43am

Thank you for sharing the photos, very interesting. You have certainly captured an atmosphere.

the room above the garage Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 1:43pm

Five is very young to lose the love of Christmas. Perhaps one day you might share what strength it brought you as an adult. Wonderful photographs! Thank you x.

Hopeful One Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 10:00am

Hi RATG- oh my word! Some blog. So full of insights and eloquently presented thoughts. I need time to take it all in. Meanwhile Merry Xmas to all fellow Moodscopers!

the room above the garage Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 1:44pm

Thank you my friend. Its always good to see you x.

Yvonne Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 10:23am

I cried when I read this. Our family all live a very long way away (and my mum died in Oct), and I always feel our Christmas, with just me,husband and adult son isn't "good enough" because we don't have huge family gathering. Your blog helped level my mood a bit and realise I should stop fretting and enjoy what I do have. Thank you and happy Christmas

the room above the garage Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 1:47pm

I don't wish to make anyone cry but if it brought something good to the surface then I am glad. It can be hard with three to create a connection but sometimes photographs from days past bring belly laughs or a good old fashioned game can bring out sides to people that we haven't found fun in for a while. It IS good enough!! xxx

Lex Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 10:31am

This is stunning... I am so touched. Great message and amazing writing. Love it, love you, love your message. L'xx

the room above the garage Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 1:48pm

And she faints! xx

LillyPet Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 10:48am

Oh ratg, thankyou for another beautifully written blog. I'm so glad your daughter recovered and thank you for the perspective that nothing small or seemingly big (including a turkey mishap!) matters.
I was reminded by my mother that she "was always depressed at Christmas" because she was home sick. That could explain alot. We shouldnt be hard on ourselves because circumstances influence us as children. I feel blessed that you have reminded me of this ( perfect timing Caroline! x) because instead of thinking of how I'm managing all I want is to sprinkle the holidays with lots of smiles and silver linings for the three of us. As another moodscoper said to me recently, I can choose not to repeat history.
It's another beautiful sunny morning in London and I'm looking forward to noticing the elements of beauty, thankyou for sharing the your daughter's sprinkling of glitter ratg. Much love. Warm wishes to all. LPxxx

the room above the garage Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 1:52pm

Now I feel I've had a bear hug xx.

LillyPet Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 9:01pm

:) x Speaking of which, I bet it's a busy time for Bearhuggins? :)

Dolphin Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 11:37am

A beautiful compassionate blog - thank you and support and love to the community xx

the room above the garage Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 1:53pm

Its warm in here, stay a while x.

susan Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 12:24pm

You took my breath away this morning, dear ratg. Beautiful Christmas message. Love and best wishes to all. We have so much to be thankful for. xx

the room above the garage Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 1:53pm

Thank you. I was hoping the Queen might lend me her slot next year. Bigged myself up :-D !!! xx

Frankie Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 1:23pm

Thank-you RATG - for one of the best Christmas presents ever - your final paragraph! I felt wretched yesterday, because of wanting to create the "sentimental advert" Christmas and not being able to at the moment - I just collapsed last Wednesday and can't get going again - and guests arrive in 3 hours for a roast Christmas meal ... Frankie x

the room above the garage Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 1:55pm

Frankie my love, I wish I could run round and help. Do they know? Could you tell them you are unwell (if not divulging the facts) and let them help? I know I would find any gathering much more fun and meaningful if I knew I had a key part to play within in. xxx

Mrs Jul A Non Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 2:43pm

Dear Frankie. You are not alone. I was in a bad state minutes before my guests arrived on the 20th. I don't know what the answer is. But just keep going. That's what I did. I just kept going.I feel for you so much. Much love to you and to ratg. Kisses and bear hugs too. xxx

the room above the garage Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 7:10pm

You're living proof it can be done Jul! Hope its going ok Frankie x.

Frankie Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 8:30pm

Hi RATG - thank-you for your offer of help! I was doing ok until younger daughter (22!) burst into tears and needed much mothering ... One guest then arrived early (I hate it when that happens!) so sat and chatted while I carried on getting ready ... it was all fine - younger daughter managed to put on bright face for main course, then took herself off to much needed sleep ... and Mrs. Jul A Non - why do we do it to ourselves? It was all fine once they arrived ... and they had a lovely time which is what mattered ... Maybe I won't bother next year ... it's the fatigue that gets to me - I have these bright ideas, then get frustrated when I no longer have the energy to see them through ... Thank-you both - you are WONDERFUL! Hugs all round; Frankie xxx

danielle Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 2:48pm

Another fantastic blog RATG, I am so glad that your daughter is well now and that you dont have that to contend with this year. Please ensure you remember your own advice to all of us and remember that you are doing good enough too :) xxxx

the room above the garage Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 4:37pm

That phrase has been going round inside my head on a loop! :-) Thank you danielle x.

Lexi Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 2:57pm

A beautiful message and reminder to wake up to this morning in Chicago. Thank you. This time last year I didn't think I'd make it. Today I am worried about silly things, and your blog reminded me of what is most important. Thank you and Merry Moodmas!

the room above the garage Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 4:38pm

Lexi, wow, what a difference a year on! That is a great marker x.

Terence Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 3:01pm

Yes, beautiful blog thank you, it is as if you are speaking just to me. I keep reminding myself that you are connecting with everyone, which makes your strengths more impressive. I have taken a bit of a dive, fretting and not sleeping well. Just read your blog and now trying to ground myself in cafe Nero, no pun intended. I'm not the only Christmas shopper taking time out in here x

the room above the garage Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 4:43pm

Terence, ask yourself what you need. And breathe out all the way, then back in slowly. Then to calm the body make the out breath a second longer than the in breath. In bed, count the breaths in is one, out is two...up to ten and start over. It may not bring sleep but enough distraction to calm the fretting.

Catherine Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 3:03pm

I have just sat down after a day of preparations, feeling I have not done enough so reading this has rebalanced me perfectly. Frankie is right great Christmas present. I hope you and your family have a lovely Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.xxxx

the room above the garage Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 4:43pm

And to you Catherine. It is enough! x

Lou Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 5:11pm

"wherever I am in my personal journey, it is good enough"

Thank you so much RATG, this thought was beautifully timed as I am feeling pretty overwhelmed by life at the moment - most of which has little to do with the festive season.

I will continue to pause (paws) and fuss the cat and try and remember to just breath.

Big hugs to all of us who continue to put one foot in front of the other.

"When you are going through hell - keep going" Churchill


the room above the garage Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 7:11pm

I love Churchill's line, I wish he could blog for us! Thanks Lou x.

Lou Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 5:18pm

I've just read everyone else's replies; this is such a lovely place to hang out. Everyone is so supportive - its like having a big warm hug :)

Thanks folks :)

The Gardener Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 @ 7:12pm

Dear Amanda - keep strong, have courage, use your friends (four have helped me today, and its been a grim day) their comfort, caring, being there. Dementia and Alzheimer are horrendous, cruel and totally illogical. I have had two weeks with virtually no sleep. I managed, joyfully, to do church flowers today, but my partner said 'go home and rest before you fall over'. I did, total collapse for two hours. Mr TG did his usual disturbing me every five minutes, but even he could not get through. He cannot understand, or remember, that it is his demands for reassurance and a bottle ever hour almost during the night that is knocking me for six. And a total childish disappointment. My shop IS a fairyland, done with imagination, all my plants, collection of dolls and knitting and hardly any expenditure - and I SHOULD have had a beautiful kitchen/dining room to welcome friends - even bought a mass of little cakes, coke etc to give it a pre-Christmas baptism with the neighbouring children. Scuppered by the most inefficient builders I have had (they HAD been good) so I have no heating. Other than my marvellous friends its been a hell of a day. But our host for christmas day phoned, he seems in roaring form - hope to sit by the fire and talk music - he is the town's 'Mr Music' church organist and organiser of our little music festival. All you lovely people, most of whom are dreading Christmas - will you be cheerful? will you come up to scratch - if you are religious - or even not - be yourselves, if you've forgotten the cranberries, don't go into a decline, do without. Ignore any relative's carping - lumpy bread sauce makes good bird food (pretend you were making fat balls). With my m-in-law - cruelly critical - I said 'I can survive for x days' and count the minutes - now power on earth could make her 'fun' poor woman. A lot of my more scurrilous behaviour is in revolt to 25 years of being bullied. Father-in-law was a darling. Enjoy the companionship, never mind the kid's racket - for me, best advice would be to engineer a breakdown of the telly, once one person starts on Eastenders, end of any community spirit.

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